Seal of Dane County County of Dane
County Executive's Office


September 14, 2007
Topf Wells, Office of County Executive, (608) 266-9069 Jim Hubing, Director of Henry Vilas Zoo, (608) 266-4708
County Executive

Red pandas, meerkats, one-of-a-kind tree house, and “dino dig” among attractions Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk Sunday will open the gates to the new and expansive children’s play and animal exhibit area at the Henry Vilas Zoo. “Kids of all ages will love this – it’s got everything for fun, including learning about some very interesting new animals,” Falk said of the upcoming grand opening. “First, there is the one-of-a kind tree house that kids can play in. With inside/outside features, the exhibits with red pandas, meerkats and more are open year ‘round.” Falk, Henry Vilas Zoological Society members, and others will be joined by representatives of the Rennebohm Foundation, which provided $3 million for the project, at a 1:30 p.m. event on Sunday, September 16th. “On behalf of Dane County, I want to thank the Rennebohm Foundation for their generous donation that will be enjoyed by thousands of children and their parents,” Falk said. Zoo Director James Hubing said all animal exhibits include water features and murals inside and outside to help create natural habitats. “Our new animal exhibits include the wallaby, porcupine, cockatoos and gibbons,” he said. “Our Red Pandas and Meerkats are being transferred from other American Zoo and Aquarium-accredited zoos and should be here in a few months.” In addition to the impressive tree house that includes climbing walls, slides and a zip line, there also are life-size animal statues and a “dino dig” with some hidden bones. The news conference will begin at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, September 16th, near the entrance to the play area, just inside the zoo entrance off Lake Wingra near the carousel. # # #